AAP Govt Continues to Violate SC Order on Ads: Maken to HC

New Delhi
AAP Govt Continues to Violate SC Order on Ads: Maken to HC

The AAP government continues to issue advertisements glorifying Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the party in violation of the Supreme Court ruling that taxpayers' money cannot be spent to build the image of political leaders, the Delhi High Court was today told.

The submission was made before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath by way of an affidavit filed by Congress leader Ajay Maken who alleged that the Delhi government's claim on July 29 that none of its advertisements or hoardings was in violation of the apex court's ruling, was incorrect.

"On July 29, 2015, when the above-mentioned matter was taken up for hearing, it was stated on behalf of Respondent 2 (Delhi government) that ever since the judgment of the Supreme Court dated May 13 wherein the apex court had approved the Government Advertisement (Content Regulation) Guidelines, 2014, Respondent 2 has taken down all its advertisements/ hoardings that were in violation of the said guidelines...

"It is most humbly submitted that the statement made by Respondent 2 is incorrect as even after the passing of the Government Advertisement Guidelines, Respondent 2 has not refrained from publishing advertisements/hoardings that are in violation of the same," Maken said in his affidavit.

He also said that all the advertisements of Delhi government "either depict the picture of the Chief Minister or they seek to glorify the Chief Minister/party-in-power and at the same time also cast a negative impression of those critical/parties in opposition of the party in power."

"Thus, a bare perusal of all of the said advertisements/ hoardings clearly shows that the same are in blatant violation of the said guidelines," he said, referring to the pictures he has taken, post July 29, of the various ads.

The AAP government had on August 3 informed the court that it had spent Rs 22 crore on advertisements in the three months after the apex court's ruling of May 13.

The city government had, however, denied the allegation that huge amount of money was being spent on advertisements glorifying Kejriwal and the party and said it was spending only Rs eight crore per month and that too on ads related to its policies.

The AAP government's response had come in the backdrop of the court's July 29 direction in which while expressing "blatant" violation of the Supreme Court guidelines, it had asked them to give details of the money spent on advertisements allegedly glorifying Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Maken had sought the court's immediate direction to restrain the "Delhi government from airing its recent audio visual TV advertisement and also its recent advertisement" in the national capital besides other states.

Refuting the allegations made by the Congress leader in the plea, the AAP government had said in its affidavit that it has "not spent a single penny from exchequer on photograph of any government functionary on government advertisements or campaigns which was released" after the apex court judgement.

It had said that the source of payment is from the government advertisement funds earmarked for department of information and publicity.

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